Monthly Archives: July 2010

High Head Green Gathering

Last weekend Jane and I went to High Head Green Gathering. We thought it would be different. It was!

Not having been to any of these green festivals before we didn’t really know what to expect. Essentially this one was a music festival based on a farm with woodland. No generators, just solar power. Crafts as a side-show (me and a blacksmith, a timber framer). A healing section (don’t know much about this – there was Yoga). Food stalls – The Pizza Slut was fired on hand saw cut wood burning ovens. Very interesting and very different experience for us.

Lots of smoak:

And fire:

We made some of it, here is Red Boy, a Vietnamese charcoal burning stove we bought in France a while ago, burning my charcoal it gets very hot:


(I’m not sure what that steel ruler is doing on the floor!)

We also found our Kelly kettle fitted it perfectly:

The new Dutch oven fitted it well too (sorry no photo) and we cooked a great all-in-one chicken casserole on Sat’di night, and fried b*con for Sunday lunch sandwiches. It’ll be bread next time too. We used the old boy so much it’s now needing a repair to the tin outside skin, luckily I have some olive oil tin left over from the blacksmithing lessons.

There was also fire at night, with lots of luminous balloons, glow sticks, nightlights behind white umbrellas and a bit of a fire dance:

Unfortunately there was a bit of audience participation too, but no injuries; “I can jump through those too … “:

I also did a bit of work with the festival goers’ children:

The shave horse and draw knife were very popular. I found that children’s arm joints are more flexible than mine which will not bring the blade in far enough to injure. So I rapidly made up a slab of ash on a necklace as a “Tummy Tector”, to avoid “spoiling your T-shirt”! They also enjoyed splitting billets.

It was a bit like the sixties that I seem to have missed out on somehow in my long lost teenage:

What we learnt about smithing yesterday

My friend Dave came yesterday to make a couple of three leggers for his grandchildren. We also continued our woodland smithing studies. We found out that the impeller in a car fridge doesn’t seem to push the air in the direction you might at first expect so this set up was rejected:

It was: tuyere of sturdy recycled mild steel oblong section piping with a handy 90 degree bend, then a corned beef tin with no ends in, then a sweet corn tin, and finally something like a choucroute tin. All bound together airtight with duck tape (that’s duct tape for people on the W side of the Atlantic Ocean) (chapeau to the inventor of this stuff!)

This worked fine though:

Same tuyere with an Aldi cheapo airbed inflator for the blower, this produced some serious heat:

We easily managed to straighten a piece of coiled road spring, toughen my Bohemian bearded axe, and start a froe from a leaf spring … then the bench set fire. Should have set up the anvil on a separate bench, the hammering dislodged the firebricks making up the forge. Anyway, next time will be better.